Updated September 1, 2021
In the blazing heat of summer, you may be wondering “Can I go tubing during pregnancy?”
You’re not alone in wondering or asking this question.
The answer is it depends.
Do you mean lazy river tubing while pregnant or tubing behind a ski boat while pregnant?
Tubing on a slow-moving lazy river is generally considered safe during pregnancy.
Can I Go Tubing During Pregnancy?
We asked our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta what he thought about tubing while pregnant and this is what he told us:
It depends on what type of tubing you’re talking about: Is it tubing on a calm lazy river? or is it tubing behind a speeding ski boat?
It may also depend on where you are in your pregnancy, and it depends on your pregnancy history.
So the first thing you want to do is talk to your OB/GYN or midwife tell them what you’d like to do discuss your history with them and find out what they think about your personal risk factors.
It can be hard to know what to do in a case like this if you’re in your first trimester.
As long as your OB/GYN or midwife clears you to go tubing, you’ll likely be fine going tubing on a lazy river.
Avoid ALL tubing while being pulled by a boat or white water tubing.
There is too much risk from the wake of the boat and the wake of other boats.
Are you in your first, second, or third trimester?
Your level of comfort with tubing during pregnancy is going to depend heavily on which trimester you are in.
First trimester: Your biggest issues may be feelings of fatigue and nausea.
Neither is great fun to have when you want to spend an enjoyable day tubing.
Taking a nap before you leave, eating small snacks, and staying well-hydrated can help make your tubing experience while pregnant more fun.
Second trimester: This may be the most enjoyable trimester to go tubing.
Your fatigue and morning sickness has subsided and your baby bump is still small enough that you can move around pretty easily.
Third Trimester: Tubing during pregnancy can get tricky during your third trimester.
Your baby bump is getting large and throwing off your center of gravity.
This can make you unsteady on your feet so be careful when getting in and out of the tube.
Pregnancy fatigue can return during the third trimester, so don’t push yourself too hard.
Stay well hydrated. Dehydration can cause contractions.
Take plenty of water with you.
A few things to help you stay safe if you go tubing during pregnancy:
1. Make sure you have cell service wherever you go.
Having cell service is a must when enjoying outdoor activities during pregnancy.
You’ll want to be able to call for help should you develop a serious problem requiring medical assistance.
If you don’t carry your phone make, make sure someone in your party brings their phone.
You can find a waterproof phone case on amazon.
2. Stay hydrated.
It is very important to stay well-hydrated during pregnancy.
When you are out in the sun on a hot day, you can get dehydrated quickly.
Make sure you bring plenty of water to drink with you.
Pregnant women need to drink 8-12 cups of water a day and maybe more in the summer.
Dehydration is one of the biggest problems pregnant women face in the summer.
Not drinking enough water causes dehydration.
Dehydration can cause contractions.
You don’t want to end up in your OB/GYN’s office with contractions wondering if you are in premature labor.
ABD=Always Be Drinking.
Keep a water bottle with you and consider bringing a floating cooler with you.
If you hate plain water, try fruit-infused water.
I can’t stand plain water. Flavored water is the only way I can drink it.
It was even worse during pregnancy. Plain water made me super nauseous.
So I relied on infused water to stay hydrated.
3. Wear a comfortable maternity swimsuit.
Avoid tight or uncomfortable clothes.
Choose a comfortable swimsuit.
You may want to wear a t-shirt to reduce your chances of sunburn.
It may make sense to wear sunburn-proof clothing.
If you burn easily, keep in mind that you are even more likely to burn during pregnancy.
You’ll want to wear a comfortable life jacket.
4. Wear sunscreen.
Pregnancy makes your skin more sensitive to the effects of the sun.
That means you can burn more easily.
Tip: Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more, and wear a hat when hiking.
You definitely want to wear a hat.
It’s not your imagination that your skin burns more easily during pregnancy.
That includes the top of your head and the back of your neck.
5. Wear pregnancy-safe insect repellent.
If you will be going tubing in the last afternoon apply insect repellent.
Mosquitos are most numerous from dusk until dawn and you want to avoid being bit.
Mosquitoes can carry viruses that can be dangerous to you and your unborn baby.
While we are on the subject of insects, check yourself for ticks if you are tubing in a wooded area.
6. If possible keep your tube connected to your partner or a friend.
Be careful that the group or person you are with does not get ahead of you in the water.
Stay together with your group. Don’t go tubing alone.
7. Bring snacks
If you will be out tubing for 2-3 hours you may want to bring a snack.
I found during my first trimester that eating snacks during the day helped keep my morning sickness from being too bad.
You may want to bring some ginger candy or ginger ale with you in case you get nauseous while on the water.
Some healthy snacks for pregnancy:
- Whole-grain crackers with peanut butter
- Dry whole-grain cereal
- Bagel and cream cheese
- Pretzels with cheese
- Hummus and carrot sticks
- Granola bars
- Apple chips
- Whole apple
- Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- Chicken Salad Sandwich
8. Wear water shoes.
If you are going to go river tubing, one important thing you’ll need is to wear swim shoes.
You wouldn’t want to step on something that could cut open or injure your feet.
These are the swim shoes I wear when doing outdoor water activities.
9. Make sure you stay towards the middle of the river.
Make sure you try and stay towards the middle of the river if there’s a lot of brush or branches along the shore.
People have been injured when they got stuck in the branches along the shore.
10. Make sure you can get in and out of the tube
Might sound silly, but if you are in your second or third trimester you may find getting in and out of the tub difficult.
11. Bring a change of clothes
After three or four hours of tubing in the sun, you’re going to be done.
You’re pregnant and you’re going to be exhausted.
You’re not going to want to be in a wet bathing suit.
Bring dry comfy clothes.
12. Do not drink river water.
No matter how clean it looks.
It should go without saying but don’t drink river water you can get a water-borne illness.
Untreated water from lakes, rivers, and oceans can be home to lots of bacteria that can cause water-borne illness in pregnant women.
Our immune system is not as strong during pregnancy, putting moms to be at greater risk of getting sick.
13. Check the weather forecast
Make sure you check the weather forecast before you head out to your tubing destination.
Weather can change suddenly and storms can seemingly spring up out of nowhere in the summer heat.
Having an app on your phone that will alert you to incoming thunderstorms or flash flood alerts is a good idea.
Keep an eye on the sky and head back to your vehicle if the weather
You can always decide to stay on the shore and go for a swim when you get hot.
If you are at a waterpark, you can go to the pool to cool off.